Lupe Fiasco Proves Lyrically Sharp As Ever On New Album “Samurai”

Lupe Fiasco knows how to rap. An understatement, perhaps. Lupe knows how to rap better than most people walking the planet. He has the rare ability to make rhymes sound both intricate and cool at the same time, if you’ll pardon the pun. He’s also managed to put out some of his best work in the second half of his career. Fans worrying about Food & Liquor being his only classic have been put at ease by what he’s dropped over the last eight years. Samurai continues his hot streak.

The album draws obvious comparisons between the titular Japanese warrior and the proficiency of Lupe as a rapper. That’s where the obviousness of this album comes to a halt. The Chicago icon spends thirty minutes rattling off dense bars and intricate stories over jazzy production. Samurai is only eight songs, but there’s nothing about this offering that feels rushed or incomplete. Lupe Fiasco is such a confident and measured storyteller, at this point, that he seemingly can’t miss. Those seeking radio hits like “Kick, Push” or “Superstar” will be disappointed, but Lupe is at a different point in his career. He’s focusing on skill, and making whole albums out of stellar deep cuts. Samurai won’t convert non-Lupe believers, but it will serve as a reminder of his greatness to fans. “Mumble Rap” and “Til Eternity,” in particular.